College Football

11-1-08 College Football Picks

Well, a 2-4 record last week was not what I was looking for. I will be the first to tell you that I am upset with my performance last week, and will look to redeem myself this coming Saturday. First, a message from the excuses department. The real key factor to my losing record past saturday was my 0-3 start to the day. I was flabbergasted when I saw the final stats. Boston College, Northwestern, and Cincinnati combined for a whopping 14 turnovers. On top of that, they were -13 in the turnover margin. You can’t win games nor cover the spread with this kind of a performance. I felt somewhat better when I saw that ESPN “experts” had similar picks to myself, but then quickly went back to a sigh of despair when I thought about my 0-3 morning. Now back to regularly scheduled programming. Bare with me this weekend, as I will bounce back like I have time and again.

Once again, I will be using the lines given by I will post one pick against the spread in each of the “Big Six” conferences, along with a breif analysis. Allow me to use the moniker given to the 2008 USA Olympic Basketball Team, as I will call this “Redemption Weekend.” (Lame, I know, but what do you expect from a guy in my position?)

Enough with the past, on to the November 1st picks…Conf: ACC
Game: Florida State @ Georgia Tech
Line: Georgia Tech -2.5

Analysis: After losing to Virginia by a touchdown at home, the Yellow Jackets have to buckle their chinstraps and host the Seminoles. I know Georgia Tech is a good team, and Paul Johnson is a great coach who has the ability to motivate his players to bounce back, but I don’t see that happening. Florida State definitely has the athletic ability to tame the Georgia Tech running game, but I’m not sure Tech has the talent on defense to handle Jimbo Fishers’ offense. After the Noles’ tough home loss to Wake Forest in which they only managed a field goal, they have scored 30 points or more in 3 of the last 4 games. They are peaking at the right time, and are on pace to clinch an ACC championship this year. The ball keeps rolling in the Seminoles’ favor this weekend as they beat Georgia Tech outright in Atlanta.
Pick: Florida State +2.5

Conf: Big 12
Game: Missouri @ Baylor
Line: Missouri -20

Analysis: Once the Missouri Tigers returned home from being crushed two weeks ago at Texas, Chase Daniels’ challeneged his squad in an interview with the media. He challenged them to respond, much the way Tim Tebow did after the Ole Miss loss. And boy did they respond! They hung 58 points on the board against a now
.500 Colorado team en route to their first shutout and largest margin of victory of the year. Baylor on the other hand, lost their second in a row to Bo Pellini’s Cornhuskers. The good news for Baylor, their quarterback is the only one left in the NCAA that hasn’t thrown an interception this season. Too bad it doesn’t matter. Even if Robert Griffin has another flawless game and leads his team to a couple of scores, the Mizzou offense will likely score over 40. Look for Chase Daniels and Jeremy Maclin to put up big numbers as the Mizzou Tigers cruise to another easy victory.
Pick: Missouri -20

Conf: Big East
Game: West Virginia @ Connecticut
Line: West Virginia -4

Analysis: The Mountaineers finally got their defining win of the season, coming at home to Auburn last weekend. ( I know Auburn is not where people thought they would be, but they are still a formidable SEC foe.) Bill Stewart had his Mountaineers looking like the team that manhandled Oklahoma last bowl season. Noel Devine was proving size doesn’t matter. Pat White performed like, well, himself. And the Mountaineer defense held Auburn in check for most of the night. As for the Huskies, after losing tough games at North Carolina and Rutgers, they came home to prove me wrong against the Bearcats last weekend. With a hurt quarterback and average defense, I don’t see them having the same luck against West Virginia. I’ll test my luck against the Huskies again this weekend, as a peaking West Virginia team rolls into town. Remember, last year West Virginia won this game 66-21. I know they were a better team last year, but so was UCONN. This game could get ugly.
Pick: West Virgina -4

Conf: Big Ten
Game: Michigan @ Purdue
Line: Purdue -2

Analysis: The Big Ten card seems pretty light this weekend, but this is the best I could come up with. Both of these teams are MAJOR dissapointments this season, and I don’t see their luck changing anytime soon. Michigan kept the first half close against Penn State and showed some glimpses of a good football team. With Joe Tiller leaving Purdue at the end of the season, and the bowl hopes looking slim, I’m expecting Purdue to pack it in. They replace Curtis Painter at quarterback this game, giving the young Siller his first start. Although he shows signs of promise, I think the Michigan defense can be opportunistic at times and win the turnover battle. Michigan is still learning and coming to compete every game in order to impress first year coach Rich Rodriguez. I really do believe Purdue has packed it in and that will be the difference in this ball game. Michigan wins this one in Lafayette in an ugly, sometimes sloppy fashion.
Pick: Michigan +2

Conf: Pac-10
Game: Washington @ USC
Line: USC -44

Analysis: Do I even need one? USC beat Washington State 69-0 two weekends ago, when they were 42 point favorites. Here’s the kicker, that was on the road, against a team that has won a game. Imagine what they will do at home, to a Washington team that is still winless. Washington is an atrocious football team, and coach Tyrone Willingham has recently stated that he will step down at the end of the season. I don’t know, maybe USC will pity the poor Huskies, but I doubt it. Pete Carroll has to rack up huge wins in order to make up for his loss at Oregon State. The Trojans are in arguably the worst of the major conferences and the only thing that will help them with the BCS is impressive wins. When I say impressive, I mean 69-0 type wins. This game is an absolute BLOWOUT!
Pick: USC -44

Conf: SEC
Game: Florida @ Georgia in Jacksonville
Line: Florida -5.5

Analysis: I will be the first to admit that this is an “iffy” game. There are so many BCS implications in this game, and it will be a tough, hard-nosed battle. On the other hand, as cliche as this may seem, I think the Gators are ready to lay the proverbial “smackdown” for the disrespect Georgia gave them last year. After the classless show the Bulldogs put on in Jacksonville last year, Tim Tebow and the Gators are marching into Jacksoville with a chip on their shoulders. Realistically, Florida should be undefeated right now. (I know Ole Miss beat them fair and square, but if that game gets played ten more times, Florida wins every one.) On the other hand, Georgia got trounced by Alabama at home, on national television. For this reason, I think Florida has a better chance to win the National Championship. There is no reason for me to go into stats and theories on this game. We know they are both great teams who have won impressively the last few weeks. This one you have to go with your gut. And my gut tells me Florida blows the doors off of the Bulldogs. (And maybe enjoys their own version of the “Gator Stomp”.)
Pick: Florida -5.5

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